BBC Springwatch's very own funky naturalist Chris Packham is due to wow crowds of children at the 2009 Big WoW, hosted by Richmond Council at Ham House in Richmond.
Lilli Matson, Head of Integrated Area Programmes at Transport for London (TfL), which organises the London-wide Big WoW - Walk Once a Week - explains what the wow is all about best:
“Swapping the school run for the school walk eases traffic congestion, helps the environment and is great exercise too. Walking to school also allows parents and their children to spend valuable social time together and doesn’t cost a penny.
Big WoW is all about taking the walk to school and turning it into a voyage of discovery, encouraging children to learn more about the plants, animals and insects in their local area as well as giving them an incentive to walk more often.”
What a top idea. And what a way to get the children interested. Wednesday's Big WoW event will give kids the opportunity to meet in the feather birds of prey like buzzards, hawks and owls, and learn about bees, bats, snails and deer.
Activities on the day are geared towards getting the kids interested in the natural world near where they live. They'll be designing posters helping people to respect the deer in the borough's parks, and learning how owls live and their role in the food chain and impact on the environment. Could you imagine what it might be like to live in a tree? And what animals do you think you would hear walking to school?
"Incentives to encourage children to walk to school as part of the Big WoW campaign include a special WoW badge rewarding those who walk on at least one day a week in any given month with 11 to collect over the next year. Pupils are also being encouraged to produce seasonal collages from items that they collect on their walk to school such as seeds, leaves and nuts, with prizes awarded next summer for the best entries."
I'd love to know how it goes, so please ask your significant adult for permission and drop me a line here at TheBestOf Richmond and tell me what you liked best about the day.
Although now more than slightly over school age, my partner tells me she'll be heading down in the morning to try to get a sneaky photo opportunity - always had a big crush on Mr Packham apparently...
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